STAFF PROFILE:  Caroline James-Wilson – Community Facilitator (Mooroopna) 

“This is an opportunity to hear and respond to the child’s voice to break the cycle — something I wanted to be a part of.”

What roles have you worked in before Our Place?
I’ve worked in a range of jobs: Family Day Educator, Personal Care Assistant, Owner of Reception Centre, Duty Manager of a Motor Inn, Conference and Restaurant Centre and member of the Australian Department of Defence for many years. 

What attracted you to work at Our Place?
I could see Mooroopna children being left behind. On hearing about Our Place, I identified with their values and approach, supporting families’ connection and engagement with their community to promote successful outcomes.  

What’s your role? What does it entail?
The Community Facilitator role is varied. The key is to build trusting relationships with the children and families to support their connection to their community and raise their voices to be heard.

“I also do collaborative work with the site partners and stakeholders,
collect data, compile reports and develop promotional opportunities.

What specialised skills and knowledge do you use in your work?
Truly listening is vital. When you fully hear another person’s perspective it supports their journey. I draw on my personal and professional experience, find opportunities to upskill and enhance my skills in the role and hopefully inspire others.  

Tell us about the communities you work with
Mooroopna has a population of 8,000 of which 7% are Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people, making it one of the highest ATSI populations in Victoria.  The children have high levels of vulnerability and unemployment is common for their parents.    

What is your favourite memory of working at Our Place?
Before the school holidays we handed out free books, and on return to school one of the students told me that he’d enjoyed reading the book with his mum every night so much that he’d used his own money to buy another book.  

To me, this was a success story on the importance of my role,
as well as a reminder of the valuable time spent with my children.”

What are your interests and hobbies?
I enjoy time with my family and friends, especially with my grandchildren. I like water sports, gardening and going to live music events. I’ve done a lot of volunteering and currently volunteer in the Winter Nights program to bring the homeless off the street for winter. 

What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know?
I own nearly 300 pairs of shoes — once your feet stop growing you can never get too fat for your shoes!